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Bookshop's Favorite Graphic Novels for Kids

Whether your kid is a reluctant or a voracious reader, graphic novels are a perfect fit! Get ready for a visual feast with this collection of Bookshop Santa Cruz's favorite graphic novels for kids. They feature stunning artwork and engaging stories that will keep kids entertained for hours. From superheroes to everyday heroes, these graphic novels feature a diverse range of characters and themes that kids can relate to. These are a great way to introduce your child to the exciting world of graphic novels!

A First Time for Everything by Dan Santat

Here’s the school trip to Europe that I dreamt about, complete with a visit to the Louvre, a home stay in Germany, and a free day in London. That’s the backdrop anyway, but this story is really about all the firsts for young Dan in the summer before high school, when he ventures away from home and tries on the best version of himself. The postcard-perfect illustrations simultaneously capture the sights and the full-range of emotions from all the kids.


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A First Time for Everything By Dan Santat Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250851048
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - February 28th, 2023

Bea Wolf Written by Zach Weinersmith

Towering Treeheart has been the seat of power for kid kings of legend, but none have faced such a ferocious foe as grim Mr. Grindle. Determined to be the downfall of all fun, he wields a powerful pointer able to adultify a child with one tenacious touch. Enter brave Bea Wolf, who may just be a match for the nefarious neighbor. Told in alliterative language and highlighted with excellent line drawings, this retelling of Beowulf is sure to delight even the uninitiated. A terrific triumph! 



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Bea Wolf By Zach Weinersmith, Boulet (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Zach Weinersmith, Boulet (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781250776297
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - March 21st, 2023

White Bird by R.J. Palacio

Kindness and courage. In this compelling sequel to the book Wonder, eleven-year-old Julien listens to his grandmother Sara’s story of surviving the Holocaust. Sara tells Julien how she contributed to the bullying of a boy in school, and how this boy ended up saving her from the Nazis during the French occupation. A moving introduction to the Holocaust for grades 5-8. The movie version comes out this year starring Helen Mirren as Grandmére! -Noreen

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White Bird: A Wonder Story (A Graphic Novel) By R. J. Palacio Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593487785
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - March 1st, 2022

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

The world's most beautiful graphic novel about the world's most relatable need: belonging. Shaun Tan's classic work follows an immigrant in a new country, unlike any the reader will ever have seen before, as he learns its inscrutable language and confusing rules in order to navigate the workforce and feed his family back home. My go-to for a feel good, gorgeously illustrated, and deeply human book where any reader can find their home. -Yves


The Arrival By Shaun Tan, Shaun Tan (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Shaun Tan, Shaun Tan (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780439895293
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - October 1st, 2007

Accursed Vampire by Madeline McGrane

Drago, a kid vampire, has been living a life of bliss alongside their two friends—until their old master returns and asks them to find her spellbook or they’ll be turned into worms! Throughout the graphic novel we get glimpses of each of the character’s origin stories intertwined with their thrilling adventure in search of the book. Perfect for fans of humorous graphic novels with spooky elements and the power of friendship.-Andrea

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The Accursed Vampire By Madeline McGrane, Madeline McGrane (Illustrator) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062954343
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quill Tree Books - July 27th, 2021

Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez

I was transfixed by both the art and story in this beautifully unique graphic novel. Sandy spends every night turning the nightlights in her room into drawings, but things take a turn when a strange new girl shows up at school with an intense and sinister interest in them… With gorgeous art and a spine-chilling story, this graphic novel has stuck with me long after I finished it. - Alana

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Nightlights By Lorena Alvarez Cover Image
ISBN: 9781910620571
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Nobrow - March 5th, 2019

The Flamingo by Guojing

During a vacation with her beloved Lao Lao (maternal grandmother), a young child finds a flamingo feather, sparking a magical story from her grandmother about a little girl who raised a flamingo. After she returns home, the girl is inspired to create a gift for her grandmother. Told mostly through beautiful illustrations, this intergenerational story feels like a hug from a loved one. Read it with a child who is missing someone dear and motivated to renew their connection.


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The Flamingo: A Graphic Novel Chapter Book By Guojing Cover Image
By Guojing
ISBN: 9780593127315
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Studio - September 27th, 2022

Tater Tales: The Greatest in the World!, Book 1 by Ben Clanton

From the creator of Narwhal and Jelly, this new graphic novel series brings the potato puns and tater schtick to keep you in peals of laughter. A great match for families trying to bring some levity to sibling rivalry, this tale about spud siblings will remind the small fries in your home that a dash of silliness makes for better ways and happier days. 

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The Greatest in the World! (Tater Tales #1) By Ben Clanton, Ben Clanton (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Ben Clanton, Ben Clanton (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781534493186
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - November 8th, 2022

Frizzy Written by Claribel A. Ortega

Frizzy is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel for anyone who has ever had to justify their own appearance. I instantly connected with Marlene’s challenge in trying to be herself amidst a whirlwind of adults, peers, and family members pressuring her to conform. I reveled in all of her successes as she learned to stand up for herself, and I couldn’t put the book down until I knew she’d be okay.


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Frizzy By Claribel A. Ortega, Rose Bousamra (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Claribel A. Ortega, Rose Bousamra (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781250259639
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - October 18th, 2022

Crabgrass: Comic Adventures by Tauhid Bondia

Tauhid Bondia’s Kevin and Miles spring to life with hijinks that are sometimes a four-panel joke, sometimes famed exploits. The adventures of these two kids involve school and family, imagined and real-life (mild) danger, and the bonds of friendship, which are tested but never broken. Bondia draws and writes in the tradition of Foxtrot and Calvin and Hobbes, building stories you can read for just a minute or for hours. Great for any kid looking for something fast, fun, and real.


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Crabgrass: Comic Adventures By Tauhid Bondia Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524875558
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Andrews McMeel Publishing - September 27th, 2022


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